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Press Release

La Quarenta gang drug dealers plead guilty in poly-drug conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Four Corpus Christi men have admitted to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute meth, heroin and cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Fernando Martinez, 44, Corpus Christi, pleaded guilty today to the conspiracy which spanned from Sept. 6, 2020, to Aug. 26, 2021. Three others - Jayden Wandell Coleman, 18, Carlos Acosta, 38, and Ricky Reyna, 34, all of Corpus Christi - previously admitted to the their roles in the conspiracy. All are identified members of the La Quarenta gang.

The investigation began in September 2020. It revealed the narcotics trafficking organization used a Corpus Christi residence on Cortez Street to distribute meth, heroin, crack and marijuana. Authorities observed Reyna, Martinez, Acosta and Coleman entering and exiting the drug stash house as various times and directing people to the residence.

Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement observed a high amount of foot traffic approach and enter the residence, stay for a few minutes and then exit the area. Traffic stops resulted in the seizure of narcotics they had obtained from the drug stash house.

Authorities also executed search warrants at four residences and a storage yard in August 2021. They ultimately found a total of over five kilograms of cocaine, over four kilograms of meth, more than two kilograms of heroin; nearly 200 grams of crack and 13 kilograms of marijuana and over a hundred thousand dollars, digital scales, a drug ledger, and loaded firearms and ammunition.

The investigation further revealed the four men were in communication with each other regarding the purchase and sale of various narcotics for the duration of the conspiracy.

U.S. District Judge David S. Morales for will impose sentencing April 20. At that time, the four men face a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison as well as a possible $10 million maximum fine.

They have been and will remain in custody pending that hearing. 

Homeland Security Investigations; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations; and Corpus Christi Police Department’s Gang Unit conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Marin and John Marck are prosecuting the case.

Updated January 27, 2022

Drug Trafficking